Published: Thu, August 30, 2018
Health Care | By Cedric Leonard

STD cases hit an all-time high in the US

STD cases hit an all-time high in the US

Americans contracted a record number of sexually transmitted diseases in 2017, beating the 2016 tally-which was then an all-time high-by more than 200,000 cases, according to preliminary data revealed yesterday by the CDC. In fact, almost 2.3 million cases of chlamydia, gonorrhea and syphilis were diagnosed in the 2017, surpassing the record set in 2016 by more than 200,000, CDC scientists reported Tuesday. Prevention efforts have also stagnated, and people are using condoms less frequently, said one expert.

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"We expect gonorrhea will eventually wear down our last highly effective antibiotic, and additional treatment options are urgently needed", said Gail Bolan, M.D., director of CDC's Division of STD Prevention.

"Usually there are ebbs and flows, but this sustained increase is very concerning".

"After decades of declining STDs, in recent years we've been sliding backwards", Bolan said. Nearly half of chlamydia cases were in girls and women ages 15 to 24.

"They realize that their sites could be stigmatized for being associated with STDs".

Syphilis diagnoses have spiked by 76 percent since 2013, from 17,375 to 30,644 cases, respectively.

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Gonorrhea diagnoses increased 67 percent overall and almost doubled among men. Gonorrhea cases alone jumped a shocking 67 percent from the number in 2013, according to the analysis presented at the CDC's 2018 STD Prevention Conference in Washington.

Men who have sex with men made up nearly 70 percent of syphilis cases.

Finally, the experts said that funding for public health response to STDs has diminished over the years.

Chlamydia, gonorrhea, and syphilis can be cured with antibiotics.

All three of the diseases are treatable but woman could suffer from permanent damage to the reproductive system and men to the prostate if not addressed.

But often, the infections go undiagnosed and untreated, and may lead to infertility, ectopic pregnancy, stillbirth in infants, and increased HIV risk.

Ceftriaxone is the only remaining effective antibiotic for treating gonorrhea in the United States.

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